tv [untitled] March 11, 2013 6:30am-7:00am PDT
consider san francisco and its housing needs, is it like a bucket or like a tube? if you build enough housing you won't need enough housing or is it just people continuously come and go. so, that's one scenario. but the other thing, too, is what i'm going to throw in there is just think about the other part. well, one, i'm going to say at the rate of the prices keep going up, you're going to have to start to import your labor from all of the other cities. you can already see it on your committees. you know, like some of these committees have one-third of their members coming from somewhere else. so, that, and then also just consider your homeless population. and then the families doubled up in these s-r-os and stuff, those are considered homeless as well. so, it's like 10 hours to get into a shelter. sick months to get into a family shelter, getting into housing can be two years. and then on top of that, you
also have your whole -- the housing authority nightmare where you don't know if you're ever going to get into that type of housing. so, i believe in both, but i'm also thinking you've got a lot of empty vacant houses in san francisco and you should consider that as well. and in my mind i'm thinking of some type of, like, squatter law where people could actually live in a place as long as it's not violating the law. >> thank you, mr. pitt. any other members of the public? can you hear me? my name is kay griffin, former member of the west soma citizens planning task force. i was a disabled chair, and i think the disabled have
language, of course, which means a lot of low-income. it's been a disaster. so, we're building toxic buildings. we can't go in. and there's some problems of housing not being able to use the first floor for somebody to be able to go in with a wheelchair. that's most of the shorter buildings have no elevator. so, we've got a situation [speaker not understood], one of the planning is eliminating disabled people. and i agree actually with a lot of the stuff that otto said a little earlier, a lot of transit has become a laundromat for police money. transit keeps getting worse and keeps eating more money. and i just don't even know what to say. stealing affordable housing money out of it after a process
has been done and just completely ignoring the process is not all right. >> thank you. are there any members of the public that would like to speak on this item? seeing no other member that would like to speak, chair wiener, if we could close public comment on this item. >> public comment is closed. >> thank you. i know that not everyone is still here, but i really do want to thank all the members of the public, particularly our constituents who came out to speak today on behalf of the plan. again, want to acknowledge again that this plan went through very long process and it's really great to see it finally come to fruition today at the land use committee. i know there are still a number of things that we want to tie up at today's committee meeting, but i think the one issue that obviously came up during public comments was the importance of affordable housing in the western soma
plan and how this was really something that was designed and was prioritized, the community being that this is where the vast majority of development is currently happening in the city and county of san francisco. and because of that pressure, of course, there is on the other side pressure to help stabilize this community by ensuring that we are building, if we can, higher level of affordable housing in the district to help protect generations of residents that have always lived in the south of market so that they can continue to live there. and not just in soma, but, of course, all around the city we know that low-income residents apply for low-income housing here in district 6 and often move and become district 6 residents. and, so, this is an important pipeline that we really want to protect. i think through the discussions last week that supervisor wiener had brought up about the importance of transit costs, i think that first the conversation in terms of us seeing whether we could do both so that we're not taking away from affordable housing to benefit transit or vice versa.
and i think the initial, the history that i heard in terms of what was proposed in the original legislation was based off of our real estate market that was very different a couple years ago. and, so, there was a design or thought we need to help incentivize affordable development by reducing residential impact fees. that doesn't just include transit, but open space and child care. but after doing some number crunching and working with members of the western soma task force and our affordable housing advocates and our residents, the amendment that i'm proposing today is to keep, actually, a portion of supervisor wiener's original amendment which is the cross-out that the residential portions of such projects shall be also subject to tier 1 of the eastern neighborhoods infrastructure impact fees. so, taking out that lower fee, but actually maintaining the residential impact fee regardless of whether they take the height bonus or not, but allow them to go to a tier a, affordable housing requirement
if they do choose to build up. so, this would hopefully, you know, benefit all of our interests in our community. so, that is the amendment that i am proposing today and i have handed out to committee members. here is a copy for the clerk as well. and, so, it's merely changing -- striking out tier b and putting back a for the affordable housing requirement. so, that is the one amendment that i want to introduce today. and i want to give a special shout out to angelica cabanda, fernando and [speaker not understood] who actually worked with us and brought this idea to us and we were able to run the numbers and get some consensus throughout the community on this. mr. cory teague. >> just want to be clear. the amendment last week was to increase the residential impact fee tier up to tier 2 or essentially remove the reference to tier 1 which would revert it back to tier 2 and
decrease the affordability from tier b to tier a. i want to -- yeah, i want to clarify. i think you're saying -- >> tier c. >> -- is to move back to tier b where its was originally, or are you wanting to go higher? tier b is what was originally exposed in the western soma plan with the residential impact fees bound to tier 1. >> okay. >> so, i'm not sure -- >> thank you for that clarification. >> i wasn't sure if you were poi posing to keep tier b and pull the residential impact fees back up to tier 2 as well, what they would be otherwise. ~ >> no, no, no, i'm sorry. i think we typed it in wrong. we want to strikeout a and return it to b. and everything else would stay the same. thank you for that clarification. that would be moving in the wrong direction. so, that is the amendment that i'm proposing. >> president chiu? >> thank you, colleague. and i want to also take a
moment to thank members of the community who have been working for many years on this. and i also want to thank the community for your patience as we go through the legislative process. last week both of my colleagues offered a number of amendments which we received during committee and frankly minutes before the vote. and because as i think folks know of the brown act, the three of us actually cannot have communications with each other about our thinking about the legislation until we're right in front of you. what you saw last week was a discussion about this, but this was also why i had asked for a little bit of time and data to inform where it is we're going. and i want to take a moment to address some of the comments that there was a suggestion of somehow stealing money from housing to transit. i think based on the facts in the data, i want to just be very clear about why is it that i think some of us had concerns about these numbers. the numbers that we were presented today by planning showed that the total fees under the plan, if you add up all the fees, housing, transit,
child care, open space, et cetera, was going to increase by about $26 million from 58 to $84 million. now, to get to a $26 million increase, what was originally proposed was that housing be increased, the housing number be increased 28-1/2 million. and that fees for everything else be cut by 2-1/2 million dollars. and thats was frankly what i was reacting to and i think what supervisor wiener was also reacting to, we wanted to write that just a little bit. ~ right that the reason i was interested in supporting a proposal was, again, to think about how we significantly help housing, but we also made sure that some of the other needs are dealt with. and, frankly, i have heard too many stories about pedestrian accidents and deaths, cycling accidents and deaths, other issues around transit and transportation in the west soma area that gave me a lot of concern that made me feel that
it was important to address that. now, that being said, i think the conversations that have happened over the last few days within the community is that we do not want to pit housing against transit against child care against open space. and, so, i think that the suggestion that has been made that we increase the level that we are spending on nonhousing needs back to what was originally proposed make a lot of sense. and because of that i'm happy to support supervisor kim's amendment on this issue. and i just want to again ask the community, as we move forward, i think this is a good lesson for us to think about, how we try to create win/win situations, how we understand that all of these needs need to fit, and to understand that it's important to look at facts and data. it's not just about trying to gut one interest to the other. i think those of us who are looking at this legislation, we really want to make sure there is a community that works on all fronts. that works on the housing front, on the jobs front, on the transit front. that's how we're going to
create a thriving and successful community that is economically diverse that meets the needs of all of our constituents. again, happy to support supervisor kim. i also want to thank supervisor wiener for having raised this issue and want to thank all of you in the community for your advocacy on this. >> thank you. i just want to make a brief comment. i'll be supporting this amendment today. you know, and thank you, president chiu, for acknowledging the importance of raising this issue, which is what i did last week. i know, and there was some unfortunate statements during public comment that i questioned motive. i can say i know it's true of every member of this committee and beyond in the board there is a strong commitment to affordable housing. that's why we all worked very hard to pass prop c in addition to supporting a lot of other affordable housing projects in the city and in various neighborhoods in the city. so, i think that for anyone to
suggest that because there is a concern about level of transit impact fees, that that somehow makes you hostile to affordable housing i think is simply inaccurate, although i understand that in politics black and white kind of rhetoric can be useful. [speaker not understood] the facts here. this isn't about pitting transit and housing against each other. we all support both. but what happened in the western soma process and whether it was intentional or unintentional, was that there was decision made that as a project got bigger that affordable housing fees would go up, transit the largest and other impact fees would go down. that decision was made. i can't say why it was made particularly the part about transit impact fees going down. but that was not a good decision to say as a project gets bigger we're going to reduce transit impact fees.
the reason one went up and the other went down is my understanding is so the overall fee level would not change specifically as supervisor kim mentioned because of the bad economy at the time, and the challenges to getting developments to move forward. so, the amendment last week was simply to say that transit impact fees would not go down and that there would be a corresponding adjustment to return it to the previous status quo. now, i want to thank supervisor kim and her amendment for maintaining those transit impact fees and i think we've seen with a lot of acknowledgment from some of the public testifiers as well as on this committee that there was -- that it was a good thing to return transit impact fees to the pre-reduction levels. there were some comments made during public comment about how , how affordable housing and housing stability is incredibly important. i completely agree with those comments. but in a way, almost reducing the importance of transit.
while people can figure outweighs to get around, transportation is just fine in the city. and to be very clear, transportation is not fine in san francisco. and the people who are most likely to be hurt by our problem transportation system are low-income and working class people. if you have money, you're going to find a way to get around, whether you're driving your own car, whether you're taking uber, whether you're doing all the things of people who have means are able to do. if you are a working class person living in the outer sunset, working at a job downtown, good luck having a consistent way of getting to work. good luck of maybe getting there consistently on time and avoiding getting in trouble for being late for work. and i know and we all know people who sometimes struggle to get to work on time, and these are people who can't afford to be late to work. and we know about people struggling to get to school, struggling to get to their
doctor's appointments. transportation is a big challenge to a lot of people in this city, and particularly to low-income and working class people. i also know, and i know that this is a huge priority for supervisor kim and i'm very supportive of her efforts in this area, that transit is not just about muni. it's also about pedestrian safety and we all know that soma is one of the worst neighborhoods in the city for pedestrians, with very wide streets and very fast traffic and way too many pedestrian accidents. and it is critical that we resolve that. and these impact fees help to pay for pedestrian safety upgrades in soma and elsewhere. and i think we need to move aggressively in that direction. so, i think that this is a good solution that supervisor kim put forward and i do support it. and supervisor kim, i want to thank you for your work on this issue. colleagues, are there any other comments on this particular amendment?
great. seeing none, can we take that amendment without objection? that will be the order. (applause) >> supervisor kim, do you have additional items? >> i do not have any other amendments to present to the committee. >> okay. [speaker not understood]. >> i do have one other issue that i would like to raise and this has to do with the academy of art university. so, colleagues, as you know, last week we considered essentially a tentative amendment to grandfather the zoning controls for the property owned by au and i understood that we did it last week to protect the ability to consider this amendment this week without considering delaying this item so we can get it sent to the full board. but as i mentioned last week, i am not completely comfortable with this amendment. we all know that au has involved significant issues.
there has been quite a bit of controversy. there have been allegations of numerous code violations, planning code and zoning code violations. both the city attorney and the planning commission took the position that we not do anything in this legislation to move aau toward additional approvals because the idea was hopefully some point in the near future there will be a global settlement of these issues and at that time it would be appropriate forever us to consider zoning code changes to move what they have proposed along. as we have been advised by our city attorney, we do not need to make that change here. we can do that at the appropriate time. so, what i would like to suggest and at this time i would like to motion to amend the legislation back to the original legislation that we received from the planning commission that i also know are from the city attorney's office would ensure we discuss all these issues at the same time as opposed to taking a piecemeal approach to how we consider the academy art university.
>> president chiu has made a motion. so we're all very clear on what that procedural posture is now, last week the committee -- excuse me. the planning commission recommended against grandfathering the brannan street property and last week the committee inserted -- we made an amendment to include a grandfathering of the brannan street property and president chiu has just made a motion to remove the grandfathering of the brannan street property. am i right about that? >> um-hm. >> all right. supervisor kim, did you have any comments on this issue? >> yes. i think academy is one of those issues that rears its head over and over again. and there are a number of kind of parallel discussions that are going on. those with planning and aau and the mayor's office. i think either way this negotiation is going to continue. i think to allow the greatest flexibility to planning and this negotiation and not kind of constrict or restrict their dialogue, it probably gives
them additional leverage and other kind of pieces to work with if we keep this grandfathered in. again, this does not legitimatize aau on 301 brannan site. it merely allows them a pathway and that decision would still go before the planning commission. and then to the board of supervisors in the end. so, i feel comfortable leaving this in as is just to give the greatest flexibility and leverage to planning department [speaker not understood]. that's where i am today. >> if i could just ask a question of planning. my understanding is the legislation we received did not include this. and, so, again, that was what was provided to us from planning and what was -- what we did last week was simply to keep the option of taking it out. but that was not exactly where the [speaker not understood] was or the commission was. >> that's correct, supervisor. john ram with the planning department. the planning commission vote today remove the grandfathering of that particular property so it conbe legalized. there would be, as it stood as
it would stand at that moment, there would be no way for them to legalize it even with the conditional use. so, what's being discussed is the possibility of grandfathering it so that at a date when they could come back to the commission, they could approach the commission for approval of occupying that building. >> so, just to clarify, i think to supervisor kim's point, i think the logic runs the opposite what the planning commission has said was they do not want to grandfather it so that it continues to provide leverage to the planning department and the city attorney's office in their negotiations with aau over these issues. and if it turns out in the future that the negotiations are such that the city agrees that we should move forward with all of these things, and i do hope that we would get there, that would be the appropriate time for us to consider zoning control changes to allow them to do what it is they want to do. >> i mean, it beg the question -- one could discuss what gets better leverage. if we were to -- if the discussions with the academy were to come to an agreement where we would agree that that was an appropriate place for them to consider, you would
have to amend the code at that point. you couldn't just do it through an agreement, of course. the code would actually have to be amended to allow them to be in that location. >> to make sure we understand procedurally where this is, our understanding is the academy of arts would move into and started using the space without obtaining the correct permit. >> that's correct. >> and then subsequently filed a conditional use, which is pending and sort of frozen as the e-i-r proceeds? >> that's correct. the e-i-r -- obviously we can't grant any approvals until there is an environmental review done. and as you know, i think we also issued notices of violation for all the properties and those that are in suspension pending a series of conditions which they so far have met. so, we are in negotiations and hope to come to agreement with them within several months. i fully expect that agreement would come to this -- to the board at some point. it could include zoning changes, it's just not clear at this point where we're going to end up.
>> thank you. president chiu, do you have anything else to add? so, i have given this quite a bit of thought over the last couple of weeks. both before and after the last hearing, and folk might recall i was the author of the student housing legislation that dramatically [speaker not understood] and in most cases banned universities from converting rental housing into exclusive student housing, which aau has done in the past. so, i don't know if there was an academy of arts christmas party last year. but if there was, i certainly was not on the invitation list and that probably wasn't surprising. with that said, i think that this situation is different. so, the history here is, as i just noted before, that aau began to use this as university space without having gone
through the conditional use process. this was not a plot of land or a parcel that was banned from the current use. it required a conditional use under the zoning. they then did late admittedly go in and apply for a cu under the zoning and that is pending and not moving forward right now because of the e-i-r. the use will not be able to be legalized unless and until the planning commission approves the cu, which will be at some point down the road. i think that it would be odd for us to say to a property owner, your land -- your parcel is zoned in a certain way. the law allows you to use it for the way that you want to use it with the conditional use. you have applied for a conditional use, you're going through the process which is now sort of in limbo, but you are going through the process.
we are now going to change the zoning to make it so that you can't even apply for a cu. i think if this were any other property owner in the city, i think a lot of us would be raising eyebrows and saying, you applied for your cu under the current zoning. we're now going to pull that out from under you and say you can no longer even get a cu unless you negotiate with the planning department and then get the zoning changed back in the future. that doesn't sit well with me. i do believe that even with the grandfathering this will be part of a negotiationses with the planning department. this is still going to have to move through the planning commission ~ and i highly doubt that the planning commission will approve this if there is not some sort of more global resolution between aau and the planning department. and, so, for those reasons i will not be supporting the motion today. colleagues, are there any other comments? okay. seeing none, madam clerk, will you please call the roll?
on the amendment? ~ >> on the motion to amend the ordinance as stated, president chiu? >> aye. >> chiu aye. supervisor kim? kim no. supervisor wiener? wiener no. we have two no's and one aye. >> the motion fails. supervisor kim, are there any other -- >> no. i just want to thank the land use committee for taking a great deal of your time to discuss this neighborhood plan in district 6. i just -- i i'm really pleased with the final outcome of this plan. i just have to say there were so many moving pieces, so many interested parties. ~ south of market, of course, as a representative, i will say is a very unique neighborhood because it encompasses so much -- so many uses, so many needs. it has such an interesting history in terms of land use. and i feel like what we put forward today is really a balance. and i know jim meko talks about this all the time. in fact, were on the campaign trail together so i got to hear him say this on a weekly basis, which is the importance of developing complete
neighborhoods. and i really feel that the plan that we are putting forward today allows us to maximize that vision of a complete neighborhood that involves a place where you can work, where you can live, where you can play, and many sorts of those things. i'm also really happy that we are able to work out something that was going to benefit those residential and transit needs. affordable housing is clearly a huge priority in western soma and south of market in general. and i have always been a huge advocate for pedestrian safety, which is a critical need in the south of market as well. we are lucky to have so many developments on a certain level on the south of market, too, which we were speaking to previously which allows us to make a lot of the transit needs that we have whether it's crosswalks and sidewalk improvements through many of these developments. that being said, we're happy to see these increased fees come into the eastern half of san francisco. so, i want to thank my colleagues. i want to thank mr. meko again, and all the members of the community. when we come to the full board,
i will do a broader thank you. and of course one of the members of the public brought it up, i want to recognize my predecessor supervisor daly who really was the supervisor for at least six years while this plan was in process and supported it from the very beginning. >> i have a question for the city attorney. with the amendment that was made, are we able to move this out of committee today? >> john givener, deputy city attorney. yes, you can vote on it and move it out of committee today. >> thank you. >> so, i'd like to make a motion to move this forward to the full board with recommendation. >> supervisor kim has made a motion to move this item, item 2 -- excuse me. >> item 3. >> items 3 to 6 to the full board with recommendation. president chiu, do you have any comments? >> yeah, i'll second that. >> second that motion. i will not be supporting the motion today. i think i made some comments at the beginning of the last
hearing on this that while i am very respectful of the process that's gone into this plan, i noe nor must amount of work has gone into it over the years with a lot of people. ~ enormous there are some fundamental issues with the plan that concern me. i know that it was a lengthy process. i think that there were pro speckatives that were not adequately represented in the process. we heard about that last week in terms of night life and i want to thank supervisor kim for i think stepping in at the end and resolving some of those issues. ~ we've also heard raised issues around the sally and the pretty dramatic restrictions on office and housing including around design professionalses which i think is overly broad. ~ and i know any public process, you're never going to get everyone and there are always going to be people who come in at the end and have different
opinions. but with this plan, i've just seen too much of it so, i won't be able to support it, but i do want to thank those who have participated. i don't expect that i'll be in a majority today or at the full board of supervisors, but that is my perspective. so, madam clerk. >> chair wiener, would you prefer we send this out with no recommendation? >> it's really your choice, supervisor kim. >> i'd like to suggest the following. i would prefer to support this without the aau grandfathering. so, at this time i probably will not support it at this moment, but if you'd like to rescind, we can amend it and i would send it out with recommendation in that case. >> i would be willing to send it out without recommendation if that would be the choice of supervisor kim. >> okay. my preference is to send this out to the full board. i think we can continue to have discussions about